What is True Wealth?
True wealth is a combination of good fortune, careful planning, optimum health, strong family bonds and an overall satisfaction with life!
Whilst it’s easy to think that ‘wealth’ equates to a ‘bulging’ bank account, fantastic investment returns and the accumulation of assets; that’s only part of the true wealth picture.
That’s not to say a lot of ‘weight’ is not given to the status that money (for money’s sake) provides. But living a life purely based on status and social approval will not bring contentment, how could it?
We are all aware (even if it’s just subconsciously) of materialism and the perceived perception of our status within ‘whatever circles’ we are in. Materialism matters in a material world.
Moreover, Capitalism, like other hierarchies, encourages, endorses and revels in outward shows of ‘wealth.’ What’s the point in accumulating and not letting the world know about it?
It makes us feel good and provides social proof, doesn’t it?
True Wealth of Nations
But there’s more to true wealth than our individual desires for wealth.
The chart below shows how GDP has grown since 1500, and GDP or Gross Domestic Product is the most commonly used metric when we talk about a nation’s wealth.
Most notably from the chart below is the steep increase since the time of the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s.
It’s pretty obvious that enormous wealth has been ‘created’ in very recent times (especially in the overall timeline of human existence).
The Industrial Revolution that started in our Great country (Great Britain) really was a genuine ‘kickstarter’ to the pathway to fairer laws, equality and a wider distribution of wealth.
Prior to this there had been exploration and the opening of trading (that benefitted far fewer); but it really was the Industrial Revolution that got ‘masses’ of stuff made at a fraction of the price, and led to more and more products for consumption.
It’s important to note that there wasn’t a ‘pot’ of wealth that was opened like some treasure chest.
Contrary to popular mythology there never was a definitive ‘pot’ if wealth that was ‘taken’ or ‘stolen’ from somewhere else. Instead, wealth creation (via industriousness, ambition, creativity and networking) has lifted us from abject poverty to the ‘dizzying’ heights of wealth that we’re all beneficiaries of today.
Did You Know……
Between 1820 and 1900 the world’s income tripled!
In little more than 50 years from 1900 it had tripled again!
25 years on from that and, yep, you guessed it the world’s income had tripled again.
And so on.
As we strive towards 2020 we’re riding a wave of wealth like none before.
What is True Wealth – Accounting for Progress
Just think for a moment about just how much our lives have been transformed by ‘science’ that has propelled ideas and forged partnerships to evolve the economic beauty that we live with today.
Without scientific advancement we’d still be staring at ‘stained glass’ windows and literally following superstition and ritual.
In today’s world we measure what our money ‘buys’ and immaturely measure this against our immediate purchasing power of 2, 5, 10 or 20 years ago.
We get sucked into ‘fudged’ inflation numbers measured with ‘whimsical’ baskets of goods which are contrasted against ‘fiat’ currencies that mean less and less.
What would you rather have? Some roman gold or a Euroland note, or US note, or UK pound?
The true measure is our wealth today and our purchasing power today in comparison to that of our Great great great grand-parents.
That doesn’t mean some ‘self-congratulating’ in the sense that you can’do your business’ in a flushing toilet (in a heated bathroom, that is connected to an advanced sanitation network) – rather than on the side of the street. But this is just one example of how industriousness, collaborative planning and technology improved the lives of millions and millions of people.
Something to think about on your next comfort break!
Sanitation improvements should make you feel that more wealthy!
In not more than 150 years for the vast majority of us being ‘free’ of disease, not losing our children death in their first year, eating for pleasure rather than to avoid starvation and just ‘surviving’ another day was living. Contrast how different your needs and concerns are today.
It’s not a divine ‘being’ that is responsible for our True Wealth. It’s a combination of science, technology, ideas, networking, trade and intelligence that make us what we are.
Take a moment to look around you and be thankful.
The benefits of our collective work effort and division of labour mean you can swipe on your smartphone, get your ‘stuff’ delivered from Amazon and enjoy more time to pursue leisure interests.
True accounting for progress pays cursory regard to inflation measures and the fallacy of ‘purchasing power’. Your power is what you have right now. That’s it.
What is True Wealth? – Trade and Exchange
Without trade and exchange there is war, war and more war. Trade and exchange, in both goods and services as well as ideas are what propel progress in business, health and human evolution. To facilitate smooth trading barriers must be removed and protectionism avoided.
If markets are working efficiently trade and exchange systems are open and transparent. This means that law (and its application) are uniform and people trust in the financial institutions that look after their money. Confidence in the system is pivotal to success.
Measures of Wealth
Moving beyond monetary wealth and material possession; what about advancements in health, happiness and technology?
In little over 150 years we are living much longer, eradicating diseases at ‘lighting speed’, spending more time doing the things we want to do and with technological advancements doing things more collaboratively, energetically and efficiently, than ever before.
The gift of longevity
On average we’re living longer.
That’s good news.
Whether you end your days in abject poverty with a runny nose on a cold November morning hunched at the bus stop, or whether spend your golden summers enjoying your generous pension you will (probably) live considerably longer than previous generations.
Did you know….
In 1900 you’d be lucky to see 50.
By 1935 (war excluded) you’d be lucky to get to 60.
By the year 2000 getting to age 80 or above was a very real possibility.
Is it time to upgrade your wealth wiring? Look around you and appreciate everything you have.
Strive to keep your focus and remember how wealthy you really are.
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